I'm not sure if you can see it, but there's a Story in these bones. We found proof right up there in the rafters, where it had been hiding for 60+ years: "J. M. Saunders. Oct. 3, 1950."
Evidently, that's when the roof was replaced. We know the building was built in the mid-40s, but there are signs of a fire, electrical perhaps, places where steel trusses melted, and then were patched back together later on. The wood ceiling is newer, of course; and Mr. Saunders was likely one of the workmen who helped piece things back to normal all those years ago, just two short years after the end of WWII.
Austin was barely 130,000 people back then. But our building was there for it. Imagine the change it has witnessed. If walls could talk, think of the stories they could tell.
We know that it has served as various forms of office space throughout the years. Several people have told us it once housed a post office. Most recently, it was the home of Bike Texas (a stellar little non-profit that is making Texas a much friendlier place for bicyclists!).
And through it all, there was that roof: sturdy doug fir, tucked up above the rafters, hidden behind first one and then two drop-ceilings, just waiting to be exposed after all these years. It's stunning already. Soon it will be even better.
In some ways, that ceiling makes a pretty good metaphor for Lazarus (dead things coming back to life in new and exciting ways).
But we think the Story angle is even more significant. Because the way we share life is by sharing stories: over coffee, beer, food, and especially in great old spaces that are storied themselves.
We love a good Story. And that's why we'll be doing our best to share them on this site. Ours. Yours. Others. It should be fun.
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